Couple convert ex-Royal Navy helicopter into luxury cabin for five
Martyn and Louise Steedman, theowners of Mains Farm Wigwams, haveconverted a decommissioned Sea King helicopter into a luxury tinydwelling that is now available to glamping and tiny house enthusiasts.Located in the countryside of Stirling in Scotland,"Helicopter Glamping" offers a unique escape away for up to fiveguests and comes with a spectacular cockpit lounge area that takesadvantage of the views across the Carse of Stirling to the FintryHills.
"Wehave snapped up a Sea King helicopter at auction which [has been]transformed into glamping accommodation for a family of five with aquirky cockpit dining area, a mini kitchen, en-suite shower room and'flight' deck," say the Steedmans.
Theex-Royal Navy helicopter was purchased at auction for £7,000(approx. US $9,000) in March last year, before being transported byroad and then craned into its new home on the Mains Farm Wigwams'campsite. The couple spent months restoring many of the aircraft's originalfeatures, including its exterior, while completely transforming theinterior into luxurious, albeit tight, accommodation.
"Wesourced some original rotor blades and replaced her tail rotors withsome we discovered on eBay, as we wanted her to still look like ahelicopter from the outside," say the Steedmans."Her once peeling paintwork is a thing of the past afterseveral days spent sanding her down and completely repainting her,whilst making sure we kept all her original signage. We thought wemight have trouble finding the right shade of grey, but it turns outfarm oxide paint – normally used for farm buildings or fencing –is a perfect match for her military color."
Theseven-meter-long (23 ft) Sea King ZA127 aircraft interior has beenconverted using boat building techniques to create a warm andinviting atmosphere that also provides practicality and function.Wooden paneling clads the interior walls and wool insulation was usedto insulate the cabin. The duo also added a sun dome and double-glazed doors to the aircraft, allowing for more natural light toflow through the space while also giving the impression ofadditional room.
Theconverted interior offers a comfortable setting that sleeps a maximumof five guests (two adults and three children). The unique accommodationfeatures a double bed, a single bed in the tail, a living area withseating that can be converted into additional bedding suitable fortwo children, a kitchen, bathroom and private cockpit lounge. Doubledoors lead out onto an outdoor patio, where guests can relax and enjoyviews of the surrounding landscape.
The Steedmans also kept many of the helicopter's original flight deckcomponents,including the dashboard, roof panel switches and foot pedals, andrestored all of the external lights.
"Inside,we've retained many of the Sea King's original features but have removed the bulky sonar station to make way for a shower roomand mini-kitchen," the Steedmans say. "We've kept and restored all of her originallighting, so when you see her lit up a night she looks as if she isready to take off."
Overallthe Steedmans spent close to £40,000 (US$52,000), including the initial purchase price, to convert the helicopter. The aircraft is now availablefor overnight and weekend stays, with prices starting from £150(US$195) per night.
Glamperscan also enjoy some of the local outdoor activities and attractions,which include hiking, cycling and day trips to the Loch Lomond andTrossachs National Park.